'Lucky' Pilot Recounts Calif. Rooftop Crash Landing - NBC 7 San Diego
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'Lucky' Pilot Recounts Calif. Rooftop Crash Landing

Donald Bach crash landed Sunday on the roof of a California state parole building

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    Pilot Speaks From Hospital Bed After Crash-Landing on Pomona Building

    From his hospital bed Monday, a pilot described the moments when his engine stalled and he was forced to crash-land on the roof on a building in Pomona near a busy freeway. (Published May 9, 2016.) (Published Monday, May 9, 2016)

    The pilot of a small plane that crashed on the roof of an office building in Pomona this weekend says he feels like "the luckiest guy in the world" for only suffering some broken bones and cuts.

    Speaking from his hospital bed Monday night, Donald Bach said he shook off a moment of panic when he realized the engine of his Piper PA-28 aircraft had lost power, shifting his focus to bringing the plane down safely on the rooftop — his best option for a landing spot.

    "It was kind of a shock," Bach recalled a day after the wreck. "I knew it was going to be close, but I was also coming in at a fairly slow speed so I was hoping I could slam the brakes. Kind of miraculously, that tire caught in the roofing there and worked as sort of an anchor."

    The nose of the single-engine plane punched a hole in the roof of a state parole office building. When Bach came to, paramedics had already arrived. He checked his head and spine and felt no damage, but he did break a couple of bones around his ankle and hand and suffered cuts to his forehead.

    "I was very, very fortunate," said Bach, 61. "I don't think I learned a whole lot other than that I'm a lucky guy."

    Asked if he'd ever fly again, he answered, "I'm not ruling it out."